So this week, we (meaning mostly me) watched “Ready Player One”, Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the book by the same name. As he has done in the past, Spielberg took a book that was kind of so-so and made a humdinger of a thriller out of it. And if it maybe peaks right at the beginning, during this epic race/chase through the streets of New York (one of the best I’ve seen in years), well, I can forgive him for setting a bar he can’t subsequently clear. Because any movie that includes a Holy Hand Grenade is a movie I have to love.
As it’s been a while since I dipped into my trove of rejection letters, this week I turned to random.org, asked them for a letter, and got an “E”. So I reached into the folder and pulled out this nice one, from Pulp Eternity, which is either from the end of 1998 or the beginning of 1999:
This week I was reading The Vagrant, by Peter Newman, in which Ted Danson, Steve Guttenberg, Tom Selleck, and a baby wander through a post-apocalyptic wasteland that―oh, wait, sorry, that was Three Men and a Baby. No, in The Vagrant, there’s just one man, a baby, and a goat. And, eventually, a few hangers-on. They are definitely wandering through a post-apocalyptic wasteland, though.
So this week I’m reading Brave New Worlds, an anthology of dystopian-set short stories. Because, you know, real life isn’t depressing enough these days.
So this week I’m reading, for, somehow, the first time ever, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, by Douglas Adams, of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame. (Yes, I did read HGttG, which made me laugh. And I read Last Chance to See, which also made me laugh, but made me sad at the same time. So that was confusing. Perhaps I needed a few decades to recover.)
This week I’m reading Hyperion, the Hugo award-winning novel by Dan Simmons, in which … uh … well I’m not really sure I can explain what’s going on, because it seems really complicated. Suffice to say there’s a planet named Hyperion that seems to be about to become ground zero in an interplanetary war between a couple of different human factions (one planetary, one space-based), and which is also haunted by a possibly shapeshifting, definitely fearsome creature, called the Shrike, which essentially teleports around impaling people and hanging them as ornaments from its gigantic backwards-in-time-traveling aluminum Christmas tree, and which is worshiped as a god throughout inhabited space, and which our small band of protagonists is currently traveling upriver, Heart of Darkness-style, to visit. Oh and also there’s a huge planetary labyrinth (one of at least nine such labyrinths on different planets) full of cruciform parasites whose significance I don’t yet know.
But other than that nothing is happening.